28 October 2013

Thirty-Five Years

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, 
but in looking together in the same direction.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thirty-five years ago today, at the age of twenty-two, we got married.  We were fortunate in that our wedding was small, inexpensive, and just the way we wanted it to be.  At the time, a lot of people were offended that only our families and some very special friends were invited.  Most of those people have either faded from our lives, or remained friends anyway.  As it should be.

Growing up, I never really gave getting married much thought one way or the other.  I guess I figured it would probably happen, but never that it must.   And to be honest, that pretty much was always the way I felt about it.  Even as a teenager, it didn't bother me one way or another that I never had a boyfriend.  To be honest, most of my peers seemed incredibly young and immature, so I was just as happy to not have to deal with them most of the time.

The Tim and I met when we were freshmen.  We became best friends before it ever occurred to us to "go on a date."  And we never really talked about getting married, we just kinda decided it was the thing to do rather than be apart when he was going away for graduate school.  Sure, we could have just lived together.  But we figured we would probably get married at some point anyway, so why not just start that way?

During the past thirty-five years, we have had lots of laughs, many disagreements, more than our share of heartbreaks, and the usual ups and downs of any given person's life.  We have both probably grown more patient with others, if less patient with each other.  There are times when I'm certain both of us just wish the other would go away for a while, or shut up, or Just.Stop.  We both realize that at this stage of our lives, that may happen sooner or later anyway, whether or not we want it to, and last forever.  So it's always worth going on.

Once when I was talking to an unmarried friend, she said that she wished she could find someone, of course for the usual reasons, but also because she thinks it must be nice to just have someone there.  I told her that there were plenty of times when we are both at home, but not necessarily talking or even in the same room, but that there was nothing quite as comforting as the feeling of  "companionable silence" (I read those words in a book once, and they stuck with me).  She had never heard the phrase, and agreed that it was what she was - in the end - wishing she could find.

So here we are thirty-five years later, different but the same.  Living our own lives, doing our own things, spending each day as we nearly always have, with some slight variation.  Sometimes great, sometimes awful, but always at least good.  Laughing, crying, arguing, sulking, agreeing, ignoring, mocking, and obsessing.

But always - now and forever - looking in the same direction.

Happy Anniversary to my sweetheart.


Lorraine said...

Wow Bridget- Happy 35th- do you know how many people stay together that long? Not many.

Here's to the next 35- it will only get better.

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary, Bridget! Wishing you many more years together.


Marie said...

Happy Anniversary! It sounds like your marriage is precisely what marriage ought to be. I can't say I'm envious, because that's pretty much what Richard and I have. I'm glad we both do.

Nancy said...

A wonderful post on the reality of marriage.

Happy Anniversary!

Mereknits said...

What a beautiful and very real post about marriage. I always say that being married is the hardest job I have had, and I have a very wonderful husband. But there are days that it is a tremendous amount of work, worry and frankly anger. There are days I think how lucky I am and ten seconds later wish I could be alone because my husband is driving me mad. I am sure he feels exactly the same about me.. But what I know after 22 years is that even in the worst of times he is there, and will be. My Mother once said, there were whole years I didn't like your Father, but I loved him so it was worth it. They just celebrated their 67 Anniversary. Congrats to you and your husband, 35 years is fantastic to achieve.

sprite said...


Happy anniversary to you both.

Cynthia said...

Congratulations to you and The Tim. May you have many more years together, living and learning.

Lorette said...

Happy Anniversary! You hit it exactly in your description of a good marriage. I think part of the reason people don't stay married very long is that they expect it to be champagne and roses and romance all the time.

Jackie said...

Happy Anniversary!! We were also married 35 years ago on June 24. Great description of marriage. Wishing you and the Tim many more!!

Ann in the UP said...

Congratulations on attaining such a milestone in your marriage. It is good to be married to your best friend because "being in love" morphs into loving one another in another and better way.

kathy b said...

Happy Anniversary to you!!! May your love continue to grow ......I love silence with my hubby

SissySees said...

What a beautiful tribute to companionable silence and the choices that make for a solid marriage. I often tell younger friends that every morning, I awake and exchange I love yous with the Knight... albeit sometimes through clinched teeth, but it's still the choice I make.

elns said...

Oh Happy, Happy Anniversary! Lovely post. Wishing you many more filled with happiness and companionable silence. Great post.